Speculation that the channel would be pulled from Disney's lineup of UK channels started earlier this week on the Digital Spy forums after edits to various articles on Wikipedia indicated that ABC1's demise was imminent. One forum member spotted a page edit that indicated advertisers had been informed that the station would be closing in October, which has now been confirmed.
ABC1 broadcasts from 6am to 6pm on digital terrestrial TV but 24 hours a day on other platforms. John Hardie, Walt Disney TV's executive VP and managing director in Europe, the Middle East and Africa told Broadcast that ABC1's "inability to get access to a Freeview primetime spectrum" and a corporate decision to "focus on the Disney brand" resulted in a decision "that it was best to move on."
At this stage it has not been confirmed what will happen with the slot occupied by ABC1 on Freeview, although discussion and speculation is already underway. The channel launched on September 27, 2004, initially only on Freeview. It later gained carriage on Telewest, NTL, and, in 2005, Sky.